Andrew Do you agree that domestic terrorism is a threat, or is international terrorism the larger issue? Are we doing enough to counter the domestic terrorism issue?Absolutely, domestic terrorism is a threat especially with the events that have happened over the years. The United States sovereignty and our way of life are being challenged every day by our adversaries. The United States has a lot of infrastructure and large populations that can be targeted and needs to be protected, but international terrorism is a massive issue as well that cannot be ignored with VEOs and adversaries all around the globe. However, the United States cannot be everywhere and has challenges spreading forces and resources effectively to counter them the government will go bankrupt chasing every issue that arises.International terrorism is also substantial a threat and cannot be ignored but between domestic and international they both come with a significant cost. For example, look at the billions of dollars we spend annually and the trillions we have spent since 9/11. No matter the number of bombs dropped and forces deployed oversees the United States, allies, and partner forces will not be able to stop them all.Each terrorist group has different motives and reasons for doing what they do. Then you have innocent people that want to feed their family and seek an opportunity to meet their basic human needs. These boys, girls, men, and women are then easily recruited by extremist groups to fulfill some of those and are radicalized to support their cause.Unfortunately, sometimes our armed and coalition forces are trained to seek and destroy when a lighter approach could have been a better option. I’m not insinuating to give the terrorist the business is always a bad thing because an aggressive approach is an answer at times. I am saying that some instances have been miss judged and a Psychological approach could have been more effective and less costly as well. For example, by targeting a defined target audience to achieve the greatest results for changing their behavior in favor of the host nation and US objectives can be a better approach. al-Shabaab a terrorist group in East Africa thriving in Somalia and responsible for the recent attack in Nairobi Kenya.A majority of the demographics serving with al-Shabaab are recruited out of Kenya to go to Somalia to be radicalized and train in exchange they receive money to give their family to sustain their way of life. There is a large number that is not even Muslim and realizes al-Shabaab was not what was promised when they were recruited. They are willing to defect but don’t know how. A solution could be to run a defection series backed by the Kenya government with the support of other governments affected by the terrorist group to persuade Kenyan military-aged males in al-Shabaab to defect and go through a DE-radicalization program and reintroduced into society with the knowledge and skills to survive normal society again. From the ones that defect can be screened and intercept such plots like the shooting in the hotel in Nairobi so they can be stopped.Similar programs and Psychological series were used in Ethiopia in central and western Africa with the support of the local government with great success. As seen with the degrade of Boko Haram from 2012 the highest death toll seen in Africa at the time related to VEOs today. Since 2015, the number of terrorism deaths has dropped, in no small part because of military campaigns to weaken the radical Islamist group (Solomon 2017). PSYOP and Military Information Support Teams enhanced Psychological effects in the coordination of military strategies to persuade members of Boko Haram to defect weakening their capabilities and support. In closing, I think we are spending more than enough money to counter the domestic terrorism issue as well as the international one too. I believe the Homeland Security and Homeland Defense can approach problems differently with a less costly approach and still achieve greater results. Innovation, holistic approaches, and budget concise should be rewarded with the counter-terrorism issue in the United States and around the world.
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